I’ve been wanting to write about this for days, but it’s still raw and hard to express my emotions surrounding it.
So, I started the day program I was offered. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have agreed in the first place.
I don’t even know where to start. I could literally “teach the program myself” (feedback from group leaders, not my own words). Several times I have been asked to explain my rationale to the group using DBT and CBT concepts because they are the core of the program. So, to begin with, I already know the material they’re going to teach me. I understand it, and can even use it to help others. But sometimes, the skills don’t work for me. I tried to tell this to the psychiatrist managing my case.
The psychiatrist pretty much refuses to change any of my medications or dosages (which was her job…?) because I’m on such a complex cocktail.
Soon, the issue of marijuana came up with the psychiatrist. I had no reason to lie, so I mentioned I’d been self-medicating for a while because it’s the only thing that actually seems to calm me down and help me focus.
And that was all I needed to say. Now, all my issues, new and old, as far as this psychiatrist is concerned, can be traced back to pot. She asked me to cut back during the program and see how I feel. I agreed; not that anything I said mattered after this point.
I continued in the day program for almost 2 weeks. During this period, I had to leave early several times due to anxiety, and on one occasion I got so distressed that I started to just, shut down again. I fell asleep in the group.
So, naturally the psychiatrist wanted to see me after this. I told her what happened and received this response: “But, you had to be relaxed if you fell asleep, right? Relaxed is a good thing!”
No, Doc, with all due respect, I basically fell unconscious because internally I was freaking the hell out, and couldn’t handle it.
“Well, clinically, besides referring you to an addictions specialist, there’s not much I can do for you.”
Quite possibly the most triggering thing I have heard in a while. Essentially, I’m a lost cause because I self-medicate because NOTHING ELSE WORKS, and NO PROFESSIONAL IS WILLING TO LISTEN TO ME WHEN I SAY I NEED HELP, because of their own personal bias against marijuana.
I have mentioned several times that my family doctor is aware of my situation, and that I have an appointment with a specialist regarding my marijuana use. Apparently this meant nothing to them, as they continued to insist that weed MUST be the issue.
I’m not saying that it’s impossible for them to be right.
I’m saying I feel like every professional refuses to give me the time of day because they dismiss me as an addict. What they don’t realize is how much worse I’d be if I weren’t able to self-medicate. Maybe that’s the problem.
My weed use may be a crutch; yes, I agree. But it’s the only one I’ve got right now when the medications and the skills don’t work. I’m more than happy to give up marijuana in favor of some kind of treatment that will help as much with my struggles.
I’m just, so tired of being dismissed; I’m worth more than that.